I’m a fan of the Pinball 2000 (P2K) games released by Williams and I’m excited to now be working on one – especially since it’s my own. I have a little bit of down time while waiting for the Harley CPU board, so decided to keep my hands dirty and continue tinkering. The next machine to get a rebuild is a Star Wars Episode One. It was released mid 1999 and is the very last game to be made by Williams before they sadly closed. Interestingly, you can (or at least could) buy conversion kits for this and Revenge from Mars – meaning you could run both games in the same cabinet by swapping playfields, ROM’s and shooter assembly. It’s a bit of a manual process to swap them, but still nice to have two games taking up the one spot. There were sadly only two P2K machines made (with a couple more planned – Wizard Blocks and Playboy) and it’s a shame they were not able to continue with them. I feel they are very underrated! There isn’t much wrong with the game that needs to be sorted out. It mostly just needs the assemblies serviced and some cosmetic improvements. I’ll be doing my usual rebuild of all assemblies and cleaning, along with some presentation fixes too. Time to get started!
The first two weeks of owning the Pole Position II machine was mostly spent playing it 🙂 It’s been a lot of fun and the kids (especially my son) are enjoying it.
As I mentioned in the previous post, there are a lot of little things that need attention on the machine. Nothing critical – the game plays fine – but can be given a huge visual boost with some attention. What I needed to do first was some research on pole position machines and find a starting point.
I spent a few nights hitting Google with a lot of search queries to find out all I could about the machine. The one I have is the Namco version and not as common as the Atari version – making artwork sourcing much more difficult (if not impossible). I was able to track down photos taken of similar machines at Aussie Arcade (where I hang out a lot) and a second link with some excellent photos taken from several angles (here).
With the images downloaded, I had them printed out and put them into my research notebook. On my previous projects I’ve made a point of keeping notes and research together in a printed format that I can access while in the garage working. It’s handy to have the information within arms reach, and also reference to spot smaller details that don’t always jump out the first time you see the photos.
This has been a very busy week working on the cab. Firstly, my new monitor arrived Many, many thanks to a friend on Aussie Arcade for his assistance in getting it to my door!
I was not going to continue the quest with sorting out the jumping on the VGA monitor. The solution set me back around $240 for the monitor and chassis (with postage) but it puts an end to the problem and I can get the cab complete Plus it means I can play Wonderboy (and now Bubble Bobble too) with an awesome display Since the monitor had arrived, I organised a mate to lend a hand with it’s installation the following saturday (and any issues that were to be encountered).
So first up was to pull the VGA monitor and frame out, and put in a new one. I spent the first night building a new frame. It was done the same way as the first – a flat panel, with a huge hole cut in the middle. I added some raised parts for the actual monitor frame to attach to. Primed and painted with a few coats (over the rest of the week).